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Elk herd causes Swedish motorway mayhem

The Local/pvs · 31 Mar 2012, 07:59

Published: 31 Mar 2012 07:59 GMT+02:00

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Police in Linköping in central Sweden have received a spate of calls this week reporting that a number of elk had been sighted dangerously close to the E4 motorway which runs through the town, according to a report in the local Norrköpings Tidningar daily.

"We had up to three units out there, and despite using sirens and lights it unfortunately ended with one of the elks being hit by a truck," said Jan Fryksén at Linköping police.

While no one was hurt in the accident, aside from the hapless elk, police plan to deploy a team of hunters on Saturday to try to shepherd the animals away from the motorway and back into the safety of the forests.

"It is a question of minimising the risk for accidents," Fryksén said.

If the hunters are unsuccessful then the police will consider shooting the animals.

"But this is of course a last resort."

Road accidents involving elk have increased dramatically in recent years, with over 1100 incidents recorded in the first two months of 2012 alone, according to the Älgskadefondsföreningen (literally: The elk damages fund association).

Story continues below…

The body shape of the elk makes accidents particularly dangerous for motorists in comparison to other wild animals.

The animal's long legs mean that the torso of the animal typically connects with a car windscreen on impact and thus pose the greatest danger for a motorist’s head with elks weighing in at anything from 150 to 300 kilogrammes.

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The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:05 March 31, 2012 by gabeltoon
With so many as 1100 recorded accidents could it be that there are to many elk in the area.It could mean that the herds are trying to split up and move to other areas for food.With so much spread of housing and industry the animals have no where to go but come in contact with roads blocking their way out.
13:54 March 31, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Yes! Must do something about this 'family of elk' - drivers on the motorway might otherwise have to slow down and that would never do...
18:23 March 31, 2012 by Stonebridge
More elementary grammatical errors.

A family of elk HAS been causing... (it's one family, 3rd person singular verb)

The body shape of an elk MAKES accidents... (it's one body shape)
19:01 March 31, 2012 by Buckshot
TRY TO LEARN ENGLISH, DEAR "The Local". What you are talking about are an animal called Moose, NOT Elk.
21:28 March 31, 2012 by grymagnusson
elk is the plural of elk and it is the individual animals that are causing the havoc, I think a family should more be read as "a number"
22:16 March 31, 2012 by Soft Boiled
Please let´s not go through the elk or moose debate. Moose is North Americian, elk is British. Elk in North America is a different animal.. Moose in Britain is something you put in your hair, in Sweden it´s what you make boiled potato out of :)
22:23 March 31, 2012 by JohnnyEnglish
Just shoot the damn elk/moose.
05:20 April 1, 2012 by Borilla

Physician heal thyself. It is "What you are talking about IS an animal called a mouse." And, the Swedish word is translated as "elk".

@Soft Boiled - Bravo!
07:21 April 1, 2012 by Byggare Bob

Your outrage also comes down to the US/UK English divide. Collective nouns can be either singular or plural in British English.

In the UK a 'family' is both a unit and a group of individuals. It may have something to do with the Christian right's lack of influence.
20:38 April 1, 2012 by Frobobbles
I do not christian family values mean much to a moose.
12:46 April 2, 2012 by johan rebel
Elk do not occur in herds.
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